Polish Bigos – Hunter’s Stew

Milwaukee may have one of the largest Polish communities in the midwest. The church where my wife and I got married in, the Basilica of St. Josaphat actually had a Polish restaurant directly across the street. I went to school with kids whose last name ended with ‘ski’. Milwaukee has an annual Polish fest as well, and we attended this year and devoured all of the food that had to offer, and may I add very delicious food. Typically the only Polish cuisine that I was familiar with was Polish sausage, but there are so many great dishes out there such as Polish meatloaf, pierogies, and all things cabbage. The cabbage, or should I say sauerkraut is what let me to this recipe known as bigos, or hunter’s stew. It immediately grabs your attention due to the simple ingredients, but the flavor is just out of this world.

Bigos is not the prettiest of dishes, but it does provide comfort in every way, shape, and form. Bigos is typically served with potatoes, and uses sauerkraut and a variety of pork.

Polish Bigos Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 14 oz can of Sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 mushroom bouillon
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 lb polish sausage, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cubed
  • 12 oz beer
  • roasted baby yukon potatoes, or 1 baking potato
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by heating two skillets on medium heat. To each skillet add one tablespoon of canola oil. Let this come up to temperature.

To one skillet add the pork shoulder and sliced polish sausage. Brown on all sides, then remove to a plate to be used to make the bigos.

To the other skillet add the onions, mushroom, and garlic. Stir and let these cook down for about 8 minutes.

During this time, heat the water to a boil and add in the mushroom bouillon cube. Break that down until the cube is dissolved. Turn off the heat.

When the onion mixture is cooked down, add in the tomato paste, and stir that into the mixture, cooking the paste for about 5 minutes.

The tomato paste might stick to the pan due to the heat, but that’s OK because we are going to use the beer to deglaze the mixture.

After the tomato paste is cooked through, add the beer, and use your wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet. Add in the washed and drained kraut and give that a good stir. Toss in the salt and pepper.

To a medium or large pot, add the mixture, and add in the semi cooked pork. Add in the mushroom stock, and stir.

Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for about 3 hours on low heat.

To serve, you can scoop the bigos onto a plate and serve with roasted potatoes, or get a bit creative and do what I did and add it to a baked potato!
How to make Polish Hunter's Stew

The end result is a dish that has this slight bit of sourness to it that you cannot get your hands on but want to keep coming back for more. The sausage and pork just falls apart and is a perfect pairing with the kraut. It almost reminds me of Filipino adobo If you are looking for a great, comforting Polish recipe, give this one a try. It’s perfect for this time of year!

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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